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13 Tips on How to Motivate Yourself to Work Out

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Having trouble losing weight and staying motivated? Click to read my ten tips on how to motivate yourself to work out and what to do when losing motivation!

Hi there – I’m Chantal. I’m a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach in the Pacific Northwest. (I’m also a mom of two!)

Are you struggling with how to motivate yourself to work out?

I totally understand this conundrum.

Everyone who has ever tried to lose weight has hit a rough patch here and there. (If it were easy, we’d all be fit!) I know I have found myself there lately.

It’s left me asking a lot of questions.

Why am I not losing weight dieting and exercising? Why do I find losing weight so hard? What should I do if I can’t lose weight?

It’s a totally normal thing to lose your mojo or hit a plateau. But that doesn’t mean that you should give up.

It’s inevitable that things WILL get tough. Once you’ve been losing weight for a while and the excitement and initial pounds wear off, it gets hard.

Your hard work might be paying off in ways you don’t see, or you might be slacking off in ways that you haven’t recognized yet.

Related Reading: 19 Super Powerful Health & Weight Loss Affirmations

Or maybe you’ve had a life change (schedules, relationships, moves, etc.) that is really affecting your ability to focus on losing weight. You’re starting to lose sight of your goals and feeling a little defeated.

You Might Also Like: Free Workouts To Try During Coronavirus Lockdown

Whatever the case for you, when you’re losing workout motivation, there are things you can do to get back on track.

There are little things you can do to get back on track – you don’t have to get extreme like I did. When I realized I was getting fat and was unhappy & depressed, I decided to become a personal trainer.

I decided that I needed to realign my priorities and put health at the top. Becoming a personal trainer was the ultimate way to keep myself accountable for getting healthy.

Since that’s probably too much for most people, I’ve compiled a list of things you can try instead. 😉

So without further ado, here’s how to motivate yourself to work out.

13 Tips on How to Motivate Yourself to Work Out

13 Tips on How to Motivate Yourself to Work Out

1. Set actionable goals with time frames.

Anyone can set a big, dreamy goal. Mine is to get to a healthy BMI (22-24.9) by the end of 2018. That means I need to lose 35+ pounds after I have this baby in late January.

But how am I going to get there?

Each month and each week, I have small goals set to help me get there. The more specific, the better. You need realistic action steps to reach a goal, so if you don’t already have these, that could be keeping you from losing weight.

If it helps, keep a workout/weight loss journal.

If you’re trying to lose weight after having a baby, be sure to check out this post about setting realistic postpartum goals.

2. Announce your goals on social media.

Want to stop losing workout motivation? Studies have shown that people who announce their intentions publicly are more likely to follow through.

That means that if you can be a little vulnerable by putting your specific goals on social media, you’re more likely to actually do it.

If that’s what it takes to keep losing weight and reaching your goals, I’d say it’s worth it.

P.S. That’s a huge reason why I started this blog. Follow me on Instagram for my monthly goals & postpartum weight loss journey.

3. Enlist a new workout buddy.

Nothing can make working out more fun than working out with friends. It takes the serious business side of losing weight away and makes it social.

You’ll start to forget that you’re working out if you’re enjoying yourself.

Related Reading: Small Changes To Make When You’re Trying To Lose Weight

Plus, it will help you stay accountable to check in with friends about your health goals every now and then. If you have trouble finding committed buddies like I did, consider hiring a personal trainer.

4. Follow some inspiring Instagram accounts.

I follow a lot of fitness accounts and I’m inspired by them ALL the time. Whether you need inspiring words or workout ideas, you’ll find them on Instagram.

You don’t have to choose Instagram, but if you do, I suggest following Girls Gone Strong. Oh, and don’t forget to follow me too. 😉

5. Switch routines.

Been running on the treadmill every day?

Why not try swimming? Or my 4 week home workout plan! Go old school and try a new workout DVD! If you’re postpartum, try my 21-day workout and clean eating challenge!

Sometimes, both our bodies and our brains need a break from our “regular” routines.

This will help your body bust through plateaus, but you also might find something new to love! And when it comes to losing weight, enjoyment is a huge player in permanent change.

6. Try working with a personal trainer.

Want to know my best secret on how to motivate yourself to work out?

Hire a personal trainer!

A huge part of a personal trainer’s job is simply to motivate. They’ll also take the guesswork out of your workouts, so you just have to show up and do them. No planning, no overthinking, just work!

If you think that a personal trainer is too much of a commitment or investment, consider working with one just a few times to learn new exercises and hear some important encouraging words.

Trust me, it will boost your confidence with each subsequent workout.

Also read: 10 Benefits of Hiring a Personal Trainer

7. Try a new group fitness class.

Not only will you feel empowered by how brave you are showing up to something new, you’ll get that social aspect I mentioned before. Finding like-minded people to be around is important in reaching your goals.

You don’t have to become BFFs with everyone in class, but a few smiles exchanged will go a long way. You might find that you love Barre, Yoga, PUMP, Zumba, etc! If you do, roll with it! Here’s how to rock your first attempt at a new group fitness class.

8. Get some new gear.

Honestly, there is not much like a new pair of flattering leggings or hot pink shoes to get me to the gym. (I can only justify the spending if I actually use them!)

It’s fun to shop for new workout gear when you’re losing weight, and it might just be the thing you need to keep going.

I’ve personally been lusting after some new Athleta leggings, but I’m going to use them as goal-getting motivation. 🙂

9. Download a new workout app.

Trying new things is the trend here, you see? Stop losing workout motivation! When I get bored or I’m tired of planning my own workouts, I’ll use apps like Daily Burn to get me going.

You don’t have to try long workouts, just try switching up your movements by letting someone (or something) else tell you what to do. The best part is that you can use these apps on the go.

10. Set reminders on your phone.

Some fitness trackers will alert you when you’ve been sedentary for too long. But if you don’t have one that does that, simply set alerts on your phone or computer!

When I know I’m going to sit down to blog, I often set a timer that alerts me when it’s been 1/2-1 hour.

Then I know it’s time to get up and walk around, do some squats, or wash the dishes. Do that to keep yourself from getting sucked into screen time or be reminded of your goals. It’s an easy way to keep your body burning that fuel.

11. Focus on habits – not numbers.

Sometimes, our obsession with counting calories and the number on the scale becomes a little too much.

Instead, give yourself a break from all of that and make a list of some small healthy habits you’d like to have.

Maybe you want to drink more water. Perhaps you really should kick your soda habit. Maybe you need to meal prep more often.

You get the idea, but if you need more ideas, here are 75 healthy habit ideas that can get the wheels turning.

The idea is that when we lose our workout motivation, we fall back to our old ways if we don’t have healthy habits built. But when we have a really solid foundation of healthy routines, it helps us stay on track with minimal effort.

Here are some free habit trackers to help you get started!

12. Get your hormones checked.

I was recently at my wit’s end with a weight loss plateau and decided to get my hormones checked.

As it turns out, there were a number of things not working properly. My bloodwork showed evidence of liver problems, adrenal fatigue, insulin resistance, low iron, estrogen toxicity, and more.

My doctor explained to me that the combination of these things was probably making it harder for me to lose weight and gain muscle.

You can read all about my hormonal symptoms and results here.

So if you’ve been trying to lose weight for years and nothing seems to work, it might not just be your motivation! (And it’s definitely not all in your head!)

I would encourage you to go get a bunch of bloodwork done to see what’s amiss. It may totally change your approach to getting healthy.

13. Take a break and rest.

Let’s do a little reverse psychology on this whole how to motivate yourself to work out thing.

You are human and humans get tired. Why not take a mental, physical, and emotional break from it all?

I’m not proposing that you quit – I’m just saying that sometimes weight loss feels heavy and it can take an emotional toll.

So set a “restart” date for yourself and give yourself a one to two-week break to focus on self-care, journaling, and just having fun.

Then you can come back with more energy and more motivation than before.

That’s it!

I do hope that these tips give you the motivation to exercise!

If you still need some extra help, here are some more articles that might do the trick:

If you want, tell me your best defense against plateaus and losing motivation below! I’d love to know what you think about how to motivate yourself to work out. 🙂

Until next time,


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  1. Currently, I’m in process of losing weight and shaping my body. I’ve promise myself if I was OK with the results, I’ll make some post maybe inspire somebody. For now, I’m testing on myself some app, I have set timer and new gear. I’m starting to fall in love with an active life again 🙂

  2. Switching routines is such a great idea! We get in a rut physically and mentally and even changing up something small can make a big difference.

  3. I definitely like the suggestions. I know people are often lazy, myself included, and they often need easy ways to not fall off the wagon so to speak. I think a simple fix like only drinking tea (real boiled tea that is) and water is a great way to get started. Drinking only water and tea definitely helped me when I lost a lot of weight a few years ago. Also, I think developing routines like working out at the same time every day, can make it more likely that someone will work out.

    One thing that also helped me lose lots of weight was to cook most of my own food (usually by boiling it), and eating lots of fruits and vegetables as opposed to processed food.

    In addition, there is one paradigm shift really helped me lose weight and keep it off for a few years. Basically, the idea is to eat and live your life so that you can have your ideal weight, and maintain it throughout your life. I avoid “diets” because I know that I wouldn’t be able to maintain them for the rest of my life. I’ve tried various diets, but some are very expensive to maintain, so I’ve developed a way to decide what to eat so that is affordable for me, and which I can live with the rest of my life.

    Sadly, one thing that is not often discussed with regards to weight loss has to do with one’s mental state. Losing weight is sometimes a very complicated matter, like if someone is dealing with depression, low self-esteem or other such issues, so those issues must be addressed as well if they are there.

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